Questions to ask at interview – A quick guide

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Do you struggle to think of suitable questions to ask at an interview? Here are a few topics to help you have a range of questions ready to ask…

1. Structure Where does the role fit within the team/department/organisation. What is the management structure like. What areas of the business would you be working closest with, for example, marketing, procurement, sales, finance etc. Why are they recruiting is it a new role/someone leaving/sickness or maternity cover?
2. Current projects  what projects is the team/current incumbent working on. What would an average day look like and what tasks would need to be done each day/week.
3. Big success – what are the team’s past successes. How do they measure success and reward it?
4. Culture – what is the culture like, is the office quite or noisy, do people often stay late or leave on time, are there many social activities either formally or informally organised
5. Future plans – what are the future plans/strategy for the organisation/team. Are there any upcoming large projects that you’d be working on should you get the role.
6. Training – What is the general policy with regards to training or ongoing development. Do they conduct this in-house, is there budget for external training or professional qualifications?
7. Next steps – what are the next steps within the recruitment process, how many other people are they seeing. A brave question that I’ve been asked a few times, is whether the interviewer has any concerns about hiring you, or if they’ve any feedback. This is one that as an interviewer is hard to ask as there is a fine line between honesty and sounding mean. So I’d suggest using this with caution and bear in mind you might not get a 100% truthful response.

This is by no means an exhaustive list of suitable questions to ask at an interview, but it should give you some guidance as to areas you can ask about. But remember to listen to what the interviewer(s) say, as they might have answered many of the questions above during the interview. For example, I know I always start my interviews by giving the candidate an overview of the team structure and where that fits within the wider organisation. It’s generally a good idea to have a pen and paper/pad handy so you can jot down any questions that spring to mind on the day.

Now you’re armed with all the information you need to succeed… However, if you’re not at the interview stage yet then check out our other top tips and get your job search off to a flying start.

‘Interview presentation – The preparation’ was written by Gemma Smith, Career Concierge, Chiumento Ltd. If you like what you’ve read why not follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter and read all our future careers advice and musings on the world of work.

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